Buckthorn Removal Services in Minneapolis, MN
Buckthorn can be an invasive and troublesome plant to deal with, which is why it is important to manage it when it is just beginning to become a problem rather than when it becomes more serious and harder to handle. There are tree and shrub management companies that can provide you with the buckthorn management services that you need. You may feel as if you can handle the problem on your own, but because the species is so invasive and difficult to manage, it will benefit you to hire a professional instead.
Why Choose Our Buckthorn Removal Services?
- Many of the plants cannot be pulled easily, in which case they need to be removed professionally. This may include using an herbicide to control foliage and seedlings. It will kill actively growing vegetation.
- When a buckthorn plant becomes more than two inches in diameter, the best way to control it is to remove most of the plant and then just treat the stump or cover it to prevent the chance of re-sprouting. This usually requires several hand tools.
- Because chemical treatments may be required, hiring a professional is always ideal. Our professionals will be able to appraise the situation for each individual plant and then tell you how to proceed with what you are doing.
What is a Buckthorn?
There are two varieties of buckthorn plant: common and glossy. The common buckthorn is the variety found most frequently in the United States. It grows into a shrub, and has multiple stems originating from one ground anchored trunk. Leaves are ovular in shape, with a dull, dark green color and a fine edge. They are easy to spot as they are generally the first plants to produce leaves in the spring and the last plants to lose their green in the winter. They can grow to heights of up to 25 feet. They also possess a thorn at the end of their twigs and produce a small cluster of black fruit with a green tint.
Invasive species are those that are not native to a particular area, and thus have no natural predators in their new environment. Buckthorn is one such plant in the United States, and it is taking over territory in woodlands and hedges across the country.
Buckthorn became popular due to the robust, low hedges it can create. However, many gardeners have grown to hate this plant and uproot them at any opportunity. In certain parts of the country that are particularly impacted, the local government may offer to remove and haul away any buckthorn plants that have been cut down by local property owners. Although labor intensive, removing buckthorn allows residents to see forests full of their native plants again.
Why is Buckthorn Removal Important?
The reason to reduce invasive species are numerous. You may have started removing buckthorn from a wooded area in your yard purely for aesthetic reasons, but there are many other legitimate reasons for buckthorn removal.
Native plants compete against buckthorn for water, light and other nutrients. Without any natural predators, buckthorn is allowed to grow unchecked, using an increasingly large number of a forest's resources, leaving nothing else for native species. As buckthorn consumes a greater number of resources, native plants begin to die off. Their extensive roots system absorbs vast quantities of nutrients from the soil before other plants can benefit from them. They produce leaves earlier than many native species, allowing them to absorb light first and block it from other native plants.
Buckthorn contributes to the degredation of habitats. By removing nutrient sources from plants, very few are able to survive in an area infested with buckthorns. Because other animals rely on native plants to survive, an abundance of buckthorn also disrupts an area's food chain.
Without natural controls in our environment, nothing stops the growth of buckthorn. This means that it is able to spread across large areas of land quickly. It is able to grow in poor soil and produces large numbers of seeds, meaning it can invade almost any environment and push out the native plant species. The volume of seeds contributes to the difficult removal the plant, meaning that as adult plants are reduced, seeds are ready to germinate, creating replacements.
Buckthorn can accelerate erosion. Root diversity is needed to help retain soil, but without other plant roots present, soil begins to erode quickly in an area with a high concentration of buckthorn. With nutrients washing out of the soil, an area quickly becomes inhospitable for native plants and renders an area only habitable for the buckthorn.
Buckthorn offers no value in terms of property value or water management. It offers no incentive to retain it in your yard. Other shrubs will look nicer and even require less maintenance. Keep this in mind when you decide to start a landscaping project.
How to Remove Buckthorn
Unfortunately, removing buckthorn is difficult and labor intensive. They have extensive root systems that prevent them from being pulled easily from the ground. Their root systems are resilient as well, meaning that you cannot simply cut a tree down and hope it stops growing. Their seeds can lay dormant for up to 7 years. When fully grown, when buckthorn is removed, it exposes seeds on the ground to light, beginning their growth process and starting the cycle all over again. Thorough vigilance is necessary to eventually eliminate buckthorn over a few growth cycles.
The Buckthorn Removal Process:
- If the plant is relatively small, you can still pull it from the ground, especially if the soil has recently become moist. You may even be able to add your own water to the ground around buckthorn to aid in its removal.
- Herbicide can work well on large buckthorn, just be careful not to expose nearby native plants
- If you are dealing with an especially large buckthorn, cut the stem so that only three or four inches are above the ground, then apply a thick layer of glyphosate to the stump. This method works well in winter.
- Painting herbicide to the bark of the buckthorn is also a reliable method for killing the plant. Use a brush to paint a thick coating all the way around the main stem and repeat several days in a row to ensure that the plant is fully saturated.
- Controlled burns are a way to remove both trees and seeds from a wide area quickly.
- Goats will eat buckthorn, so having them graze in an area of high concentration is a quick way to remove smaller plants. Thankfully they will also eat the seeds, but this method will need to employed several times a year to ensure that the population remains small
Applying a combination of the treatments above throughout the year will help you reduce your buckthorn population to a manageable size. Your reward is of course the return of your familiar, beautiful native plants and flowers, and knowing that you've contributed to stabilizing and preserving your local environment for generations to come.
If you are interested in buckthorn removal on your property, hiring a professional is the best way to get the results that you need. Tree Squad is the solution you have been looking for, so contact us today at 952-888-8733 to find out what we can do for you.